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Thread: parents who know nothing teaching their kids

  1. #1
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    parents who know nothing teaching their kids

    I hope this is not a disturbing trend: parents who know very little about skating, who can't skate themselves, and are trying to teach their little kid how to figure skate. Mama Leung is a prime example, but I have seen this situation recently at at local arena. What are parents thinking? I don't think teaching your kid how to figure skate when you have very little knowledge is a smart way of supporting your kid because of the detrimental effect of the kid's skating especially long term. I think overenthusiastic parents are more wise to send their kid to a well qualified professional.

    I hope that parents are not looking at Mama Leung thinking, okay, it worked with Mira so this is what I have to do to make my daughter a champion.

  2. #2
    Rinkside
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    There is one in every skating club in Canada.
    Many talented skaters are ruined by crazy skating parents.
    Last edited by winter; 09-30-2007 at 07:57 PM.

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    Many parents are involved in their children's skating. Asian parents in particular observe coaching sessions and watch their kids carefully during practice sessions to make sure that they practicing correctly. While there are scary parents out there- from my observations- and I've seen many in NYC- the parents are an asset and not a hindrance.

    I think that young children need to be supervised during practice sessions with knowledgable parents so they can practice with proper form and manage their time effectively. It's too much to ask a 5 year old to remember everything that a coach teaches them and too expensive and impractable to have a coach monitor every practice session.

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    Rabbit Tycoon dutchherder's Avatar
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    Um, they're doing the same thing with their academic schooling.... You're surprised? :sheesh:

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    I'm not Asian, but I have experience with the Suzuki method of violin teaching. In the Suzuki approach, I was expected to attend each of my child's lessons, take notes, and supervise the daily practice, reinforcing what the teacher had done at the lesson. The difference here is that the teacher not only wanted, but expected me to do this, and made sure I understood what was to be done and why. I've never seen that kind of coach/parent thing happen in skating. I've seen plenty of parents "coaching" from the sidelines, but none of them working under the professional coach's direction. Using a Suzuki-style approach, parental supervision of practice could be quite beneficial. In both music and skating, though, I think it's better for the child to take on more and more responsibility for their own practice as they grow older. Certainly by the teen years, I think the parent should let the student practice on their own for the most part.

  6. #6
    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    I'm not Asian, but I have experience with the Suzuki method of violin teaching. In the Suzuki approach, I was expected to attend each of my child's lessons, take notes, and supervise the daily practice, reinforcing what the teacher had done at the lesson. The difference here is that the teacher not only wanted, but expected me to do this, and made sure I understood what was to be done and why. I've never seen that kind of coach/parent thing happen in skating. I've seen plenty of parents "coaching" from the sidelines, but none of them working under the professional coach's direction. Using a Suzuki-style approach, parental supervision of practice could be quite beneficial. In both music and skating, though, I think it's better for the child to take on more and more responsibility for their own practice as they grow older. Certainly by the teen years, I think the parent should let the student practice on their own for the most part.

    those parents workiing from the boards talk to the coaches at length after lessons and understand what thier child has to work on. sure, they can't do an axel, but they know exactly what it looks like when you do it right and when you do it wrong.

  7. #7
    Moving up the testing structure Kypma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    I'm not Asian, but I have experience with the Suzuki method of violin teaching. In the Suzuki approach, I was expected to attend each of my child's lessons, take notes, and supervise the daily practice, reinforcing what the teacher had done at the lesson. The difference here is that the teacher not only wanted, but expected me to do this, and made sure I understood what was to be done and why. I've never seen that kind of coach/parent thing happen in skating. I've seen plenty of parents "coaching" from the sidelines, but none of them working under the professional coach's direction. Using a Suzuki-style approach, parental supervision of practice could be quite beneficial. In both music and skating, though, I think it's better for the child to take on more and more responsibility for their own practice as they grow older. Certainly by the teen years, I think the parent should let the student practice on their own for the most part.
    I agree that the Suzuki method is good... though at the basis it is to teach a child to play music in the same way he would learn to speak - by listening. One can apply derivatives to figure skating, though, and I think that as long as the parent is helping out the child by providing pointers and tips, it's fine. The problem is when the parent has no clue what he is talking about and thinks he can replace the coach. I believe Yu-Na Kim's mother was coaching her for years, and that seemed to function quite well, so I suppose one cannot put all the eggs in the same basket.

    Kypma

    (I was brought up in both flute and piano through the Suzuki method... it is wonderful, although the parent's implication depends on the teacher and yes, at some point parents must let their children be independant)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    those parents workiing from the boards talk to the coaches at length after lessons and understand what thier child has to work on. sure, they can't do an axel, but they know exactly what it looks like when you do it right and when you do it wrong.
    I don't think that is quite enough knowledge to help the kid. For instance, after talking to the coach you know the kid needs to work on his salchow. Okay, so you supervise the kid to do lots of salchows. You know that it was bad because there is too much swing (which is already a lot of info to know as a parent if you've never taken a lesson in your life), but you don't know what is causing that swing and cannot provide that very important piece of information to help your kid correct that swing. You keep telling the kid to do more salchows, but overtime the swing becomes a very bad habit. It becomes ingrained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinymavy15 View Post
    those parents workiing from the boards talk to the coaches at length after lessons and understand what thier child has to work on. sure, they can't do an axel, but they know exactly what it looks like when you do it right and when you do it wrong.
    I don't think that is quite enough knowledge to help the kid. For instance, after talking to the coach you know the kid needs to work on his salchow. Okay, so you supervise the kid to do lots of salchows. You know that it was bad because there is too much swing (which is already a lot of info to know as a parent if you've never taken a lesson in your life), but you don't know what is causing that swing and cannot provide that very important piece of information to help your kid correct that swing. You keep telling the kid to do more salchows, but overtime the swing becomes a very bad habit. It becomes ingrained. Knowing what it looks like when you do it right or when you do it wrong is not enough. I'm sure Mira's mom can tell when the jump is done right or wrong, but does she know how to correct the problem? Obviously no. Mira's situation is an extreme case.

  10. #10
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    I'm not a big fan of uneducated parents coaching from the boards, and luckily, my rink does not permit that at ANY session. They are permitted, however, to sit there during learn-to-skate and observe. I draw them in with what to do at home to help their child, and fun games involving them if their child is very small (I have 2 2-year olds).

    I have one hockey dad, and we disagreed on certain things, but we both agree that teaching his child is most important, so he backed down and now we meet to "agree" in front of his child. It has worked out. Hockey dad is a great skater on his own.

    I mostly stress not working too hard, quitting practice when the child becomes distracted, bored, or tired. I don't have any students higher than Basic 4.

  11. #11
    Medalist penguin girl's Avatar
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    I am a parent, but a skating one, and I always have to supervise my son's practices (he's only 4). If I don't give him games and activities to do, he just skates lazily around the rink. I've come up with a lot of fun games disguised as practice and I do wonder what other people think of me. If I were to watch myself, I'd probably be annoyed.

  12. #12
    Rinkside
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    truer words havent been said.

    Quote Originally Posted by winter View Post
    There is one in every skating club in Canada.
    Many talented skaters are ruined by crazy skating parents.
    yep

  13. #13
    Mrs. Roman Kostomarov icedancingnut31's Avatar
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    My dad tried to help me with crossovers when he hadn't attempted them in 20 years lol. Now he has finally backed off because he understands the fact that unlike me he cannot jump.

  14. #14
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    I'm not Asian, but I have experience with the Suzuki method of violin teaching. In the Suzuki approach, I was expected to attend each of my child's lessons, take notes, and supervise the daily practice, reinforcing what the teacher had done at the lesson. The difference here is that the teacher not only wanted, but expected me to do this, and made sure I understood what was to be done and why. I've never seen that kind of coach/parent thing happen in skating. I've seen plenty of parents "coaching" from the sidelines, but none of them working under the professional coach's direction. Using a Suzuki-style approach, parental supervision of practice could be quite beneficial. In both music and skating, though, I think it's better for the child to take on more and more responsibility for their own practice as they grow older. Certainly by the teen years, I think the parent should let the student practice on their own for the most part.
    I heard that Machiko Yamada, the former coach of Mao, Mai, Yukari, and Midori Ito, let the parents observe, cheer for, and advice their kids, which seems to be rather unusual practices. She let them do so because that gives kids greater motivation. When a kid lands a jump, he/she wants be acknowledged and rewarded. Whereas the coach cannot attend each kid so closely throughout their practices, parents watch ONLY their kids. I heard that that's the reason why she lets them do so. Then if the parent advises something wrong, she would correct; so no worries.


    But I feel that both the Suzuki method and Ms. Machiko Yamada's practices seem to be a bit unrealistic for a dual career household. A nunny, if any, can substitue the cheering parent's role, perhaps?


    BTW, just a side note that is off topic, what I thought nice about her pedagogy is that she expects the kids to behave nicely and be liked/loved by others, rather than just competitively focusing on their own skate. She is said to form a family-like relationship with the whole club members. She says that she'd be happy if the kids are loved by others even if they don't win. Since the skating career is so short relative to the rest of their life, she considers these basic social skills very important. Because kids spend a lot of time on ice with her, she says that she cares about good, likable manners and behaviors in kids, even more than their competitive results. Since I do think that FS is a sport that could possibly feed huge ego-centric mentality in kids (of course, not always, but possibly yes; i had seen too many 'princesses' on ice), I feel what she says pretty reasonable.
    Last edited by Bennett; 11-29-2007 at 06:16 PM.

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